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  • Writer's pictureRachel Meyer

How to Create a Brand Voice to Help Your Small Business Stand Out

How to Create a Brand Voice to Help Your Small Business Stand Out

Your business is unique. But how do you show that online?


Well, there are many ways, from the colors you choose to the products you sell. But one of the most important methods for businesses of all kinds is to create a consistent brand voice across all your communication and platforms.


If you’ve never heard of brand voice or have no idea where to get started creating one, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I walk you through figuring out what you want your brand to sound like and why that's so important.


What is Brand Voice?


In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, brand voice is what your business sounds like online. It’s the way you “talk” in your emails, blog posts, and even social media captions.


Why is Brand Voice Important?


A term as fancy-sounding as "brand voice" probably feels like something a giant company uses in its million-dollar marketing strategy. Not something your small business with three employees needs. But brand voice is important for companies of all sizes. Why?


It Keeps You Consistent


You never know where your customers will discover you. They might find you on TikTok, Pinterest, or Google search. No matter where they see you, you want your voice to sound consistent.


Imagine they find you on Instagram, where you post hilarious, on-trend reels with captions full of puns and emojis. But when they head to your website, it’s full of dry, boring item descriptions and text. The dissonance in your brand voice will confuse them and make them look somewhere else.


It Helps You Stand Out


Think of the brands you like best. You remember them not only for the products they sell but also for the voice they use. That specific tone helps them stand out from the competition and makes you think of them when buying.


You can use the same tactic to help your small business stand out, whether you sell jewelry, coffee, or facials. That indie bookstore might be a place for serious readers, but yours is where people can find the freshest romance reads right off the press.


It Helps Your Team


A big problem appears when you have more than one person writing for you without a clear brand voice. One email might sound serious, while another is filled with puns. Your TikTok might be hilarious, but your blog posts sound like they were written by ChatGPT.


Having a clear brand voice outlined helps keep everyone writing for you sounding the same. It ensures a casual viewer won’t know which email you or your copywriter wrote. Your communication will sound like your business rather than the individual who wrote it.


How to Create a Brand Voice for Your Small Business


Now that you see how important a brand voice is, I’m going to walk you through creating one for your business. Don’t panic; it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You’ll start by answering a few questions, so grab a notebook and pen.


#1: What is your natural writing style?


As a small business, your brand voice probably sounds like you. That might be funny, quirky, formal, or serious. It’s not necessarily bad, but it may not be how you actually want your business to sound.


Start by assessing how you currently write for your business. Don’t change anything; just observe the language you use, the tone of voice, and even if you prefer long sentences to short ones.


#2: Who are your customers?


Next, consider your ideal customer. Busy moms? Teenagers? Retired grandparents? (If you don’t know who you’re selling to, what are you doing reading this post?)


Every type of customer has a brand voice they find most appealing. Teenagers like lots of modern slang and emojis. Young moms probably prefer something short and to the point. And so on.


To figure out what your ideal customer likes best, do some research. What other brands do they like? How do they talk online in Facebook groups or on Reddit? What kinds of media are they consuming?


Studying these things will show you precisely how your ideal customer sounds and how you can talk to them. It’ll help you figure out how to adjust how you write to appeal to them. Again, don’t do anything yet. Just write down your audience and the way they “speak” online.


#3: What tone do you want to use?


Now we’re getting to the fun part– deciding what you want your brand voice to be. Start by looking at your answers to questions one and two. With those in mind, what tone do you want to use for your business?


Options include:

  • Funny

  • Serious

  • Formal

  • Casual

  • Respectful

  • Irreverent

  • Enthusiastic

  • Matter of fact


You can combine these tones in different ways, such as being funny yet respectful. Once you choose your main tone, continue drilling it down. For example, your funny tone could be playful, quirky, witty, or coarse.


Your goal is to decide on a brand voice that sounds authentic to your business and appealing to your customers. It should feel natural to you and make your brand come to life.


#4: What else will you use?


Brand voice isn’t only about tone. You also have the option to use extras such as emojis, slang, abbreviations, and industry-specific terms.


Once again, look at your writing style and what your audience likes to make your choice. For example, if you’re a trendy boutique, you may want to use cute emojis to go with your youthful, girly tone. Or, if you sell office supplies to business professionals, you may want to throw in a few business terms to show you know what you're talking about.


Create a Brand Voice Guide


With all your decisions still fresh in your mind, create a brand voice guide for you and others to reference. This document will be a guiding light in everything you write in the future.


Get specific with this. Write down:

• Do you use contractions?

• Are emojis allowed, and which ones?

• Is the Oxford comma a must?

• Long paragraphs or ones with 2-3 sentences?

• How do you address your customers?


It might seem like a lot of work to put together. But when you decide to hire a writer for your blog or get a copywriter to redo your website, you'll be glad you already have these things decided.


Need a little help putting your brand voice together? I made a Google Doc template for you to follow! Click the image below to get it.


Brand voice guide

Using Your Brand Voice


Congrats, you now have a brand voice! It’s an important part of running your business and marketing, so I’m proud of you for taking the time to figure it out. But now that you’ve decided what your business sounds like, what do you do with this information?


Use it, of course. Okay, I know you wanted something a little more specific.


Start by reviewing your website, product descriptions, and social media profiles. Do they align with your brand voice? If not, rewrite them.


If you have any writers on your team, share your brand voice guide with them. If you hire someone in the future, send them your document to make things easier for both of you. Any time you write something for your business, refer to your guide first.


 

You’ll find writing becomes easier than ever because you already have these guidelines laid out. Your customers will enjoy seeing consistency across platforms, and you’ll be able to attract even more business.


Are you looking for a writer to help improve your emails or blog posts for your small business? I’d love to chat! Click the button to learn more about how I can help.



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